Mandatory versus voluntary.
Though court cases have sought to limit "mandatory" school-sponsored prayer, students continue to have the right to "voluntarily" pray!
Brad Dacus, President of Pacific Justice Institute, stated (www.legaltopray.com):
“In every case defending students’ rights to pray, the students have prevailed, even teachers have the right to pray in school."
President Bill Clinton stated at James Madison High School, July 12, 1995:
"The First Amendment does not require students to leave their religion at the schoolhouse door ...
If students can wear T-shirts advertising sports teams, rock groups or politicians, they can also wear T-shirts that promote religion ...
Religion is too important to our history and our heritage for us to keep it out of our schools ..."
"Nothing in the First Amendment converts our public schools into religion-free zones or requires all religious expression to be left behind at the schoolhouse door ...
Government's schools also may not discriminate against private religious expression during the school day."
Though students continue to have the right to "voluntarily" pray in school, many are unaware of WHERE and WHEN the effort began to remove "mandatory" prayer from schools?
In 1959, a few atheists filed a lawsuit to stop New York's "mandatory" school prayer, which took place every morning after the Pledge of Allegiance.
"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen."
The A.C.L.U. represented the atheists in the case, Engel v. Vitale, which went up to the Supreme Court.
The A.C.L.U. was started by Roger Baldwin, who wrote in 1935:
"I am for socialism, disarmament, and ultimately, for abolishing the state itself ... Communism is the goal."
Baldwin was referring to socialism as the transition phase from capitalism to communism, as Karl Marx wrote in The Critique of the Gotha Programme, Part IV:
"Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation."
Baldwin also wrote:
"I joined. I don't regret being a part of the Communist tactic, which increased the effectiveness of a good cause. I knew what I was doing. I was not an innocent liberal. I wanted what the Communists wanted."
Harry S Truman stated in his Inaugural Address, January 20, 1949:
"Communism is based on the belief that man is so weak and inadequate that he is unable to govern himself, and therefore requires the rule of strong masters ...
Communism subjects the individual to arrest without lawful cause, punishment without trial, and forced labor as a chattel of the state.
It decrees what information he shall receive, what art he shall produce, what leaders he shall follow, and what thoughts he shall think."
Reagan told the Annual Convention of the National Religious Broadcasters, January 30, 1984:
"I was pleased last year to proclaim 1983 the Year of the Bible. But, you know, a group called the A.C.L.U. severely criticized me for doing that.
Well, I wear their indictment like a badge of honor."
In the Supreme Court decision of Engel v. Vitale, 1962, Justice Hugo Black sided with the atheists and ended the three century old tradition of state-sponsored "mandatory" prayer in public schools.
Hugo Black, interestingly enough, had never been a judge before being appointed to the Supreme Court by President Franklin Roosevelt. He had been a Democrat Senator and former K.K.K. member from Alabama.
Justice Hugo Black also supported Democrat President Franklin Roosevelt's internment of Japanese during World War II in his Korematsu v. United States decision.
Around the time of Hugo Black's Engel v. Vitale decision, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, an atheist proponent of socialism-communism, attempted to defect in 1960 to the U.S.S.R. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), but was refused entry, as reported by son, William J. Murray.
Returning to Maryland, Madalyn Murray O'Hair sued the Baltimore City Public School System (Murray v. Curlett) to have "mandatory" Bible reading taken out of public schools, using her 14 year old son, William J. Murray, as the plaintiff.
The case went to the Supreme Court where it was combined with the case of Abington Township v. Schempp. As as result, "mandatory" Bible reading was stopped in America's public schools.
An interesting note is that Madalyn Murray O'Hair had the habit of hiring felons to work for her to project a tough image. In 1995, three of the felons she employed murdered her, mutilated her body, and buried it in Texas.
Her son, William J. Murray, years earlier, had disassociated himself from his mother.
He became a Christian, a minister, and an author, writing about his atheist upbringing in the book My Life Without God (2012).
In 1963, Democrat Congressman Albert S. Herlong, Jr., warned of the socialist-communist agenda infiltrating schools.
He read into the Congressional Record, January 10, 1963, the list of Communist goals for America (Vol 109, 88th Congress, 1st Session, Appendix, pp. A34-A35).
The Communist list included:
"Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of 'separation of church and state' ...
... Control schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda ...
... Soften curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put party line in textbooks ... Control student newspapers ..."
Herlong continued the list of Communist goals for America:
"Infiltrate churches and replace revealed religion with 'social' religion (ie. 'social justice,' 'liberation theology') ...
... Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a 'religious crutch' ...
... Discredit American culture ...
... Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and divorce ...
... Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as 'normal, natural, healthy."
Members of the Communist Party USA, in 1950, helped form the Mattachine Society, the nation's first homosexual rights organizations. which lobbied to repeal sodomy laws.
It is necessary to tear down the old system of morals in order to bring in a new totalitarian system.
Truman addressed the Attorney General's Conference, February 1950:
"If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except for the State."
Why is important in socialist and communist countries to eliminate the Creator?
President Eisenhower stated February 20, 1955:
"The Founding Fathers ... recognizing God as the author of individual rights, declared that the purpose of Government is to secure those rights ... In many lands the State claims to be the author of human rights ...
If the State gives rights, it can - and inevitably will - take away those rights."
If there is no God, the state decides who is more equal and who is less equal.
George Orwell described the socialist state in his 1945 novel Animal Farm:
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
In socialism, a dictatorship is inevitable, as selfishness is ingrained in fallen human nature.
St. Augustine called it: "libido dominandi" - the lust to dominate.
Only the Gospel can truly change a person's nature.
Despite socialist promises of a "classless" society, Orwell explained in Animal Farm how socialism always ends up being run by selfish bullies who set themselves up as the elite ruling-class, the new royalty.
"We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare.
It is for YOUR sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would happen if we pigs failed in our duty? ...
The importance of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious.
So it was agreed without further argument that the milk and the windfall apples (and also the main crop of apples when they ripened) should be reserved for the pigs alone."
Socialist hierarchy is contrary to the Bible, which states in Acts 10:34, "God is no respecter of persons."
Truman referred to this in his Inaugural Address, 1949:
"We believe that all men are created equal because they are created in the image of God."
Regarding America's school children, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushschev reportedly told Ezra Taft Benson, Eisenhower's Secretary of Agriculture, in 1959:
"Your children's children will live under communism.
You Americans are so gullible. No, you won't accept Communism outright, but we'll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have Communism.
We won't have to fight you; We'll so weaken your economy, until you fall like overripe fruit into our hands."
The Greek philosopher Plato wrote in Republic (380BC):
"Tyrants ... will ... take possession of the children, who will be unaffected by the habits of their parents; these they will train in their own habits and laws."
Adolph Hitler stated November 6, 1933:
"When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,'
I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already ... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.'"
Adolph Hitler added May 1, 1937:
"We have set before ourselves the task of inoculating our youth ... at a very early age ... This new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing."
In 1918, Communist Party Education Workers Congress declared:
"We must create out of the younger generation a generation of Communists. We must turn children, who can be shaped like wax, into real, good Communists ...
We must remove the children from the crude influence of their families. We must take them over and, to speak frankly, nationalize them.
From the first days of their lives they will be under the healthy influence of Communist children's nurseries and schools. There they will grow up to be real Communists."
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin stated:
"Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted."
Karl Marx stated:
"The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense."
Josef Stalin stated:
"Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed."
Leon Trotsky stated:
"If our generation happens to be too weak to establish Socialism over the earth, we will hand the spotless banner down to our children ... It is the struggle for the future of all mankind."
On AUGUST 11, 1984, by an 88-11 Senate vote and a 337-77 House vote, Congress passed the Equal Access Act, stating:
"It shall be unlawful for any public secondary school which receives Federal financial assistance and which has a limited open forum,
to deny equal access or a fair opportunity to, or discriminate against, any students who wish to conduct a meeting within that limited open forum on the basis of the religious, political, philosophical, or other content of the speech at such meeting."
Regarding this, President Reagan commented August 23, 1984 at Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas:
"We even had to pass a special law in the Congress just a few weeks ago to allow student prayer groups the same access to school rooms after classes that a Young Marxist Society ... would already enjoy."
The Supreme Court upheld the Equal Access Act by a vote of 8-1 in Westside Community Schools v. Mergens, June 4, 1990:
"If a State refused to let religious groups use facilities open to others, then it would demonstrate not neutrality but hostility toward religion.
The Establishment Clause does not license government to treat religion and those who teach or practice it ... as subversive of American ideals."
Ronald Reagan stated in a radio address, February 25, 1984:
"Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart noted (in his dissent of Abington Township, 1963)
'if religious exercises are held to be impermissible activity in schools, religion is placed at an artificial and state-created disadvantage.
Permission for such exercises for those who want them is necessary if the schools are truly to be neutral in the matter of religion.
And a refusal to permit them is seen not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism.'"
Justice Potter Stewart added:
"The state may not establish a 'religion of secularism' in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus 'preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.'"
Along the same lines, U.S. District Court stated in Crockett v. Sorenson, W.D. Va,. 1983:
"The First Amendment was never intended to insulate our public institutions from any mention of God, the Bible or religion.
When such insulation occurs, another religion, such as secular humanism, is effectively established."
In Torcaso v Watkins (1961), Justice Hugo Black wrote:
"Among the religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, ethical culture, secular humanism and others."
Supreme Court Justice Scalia wrote in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987):
“In Torcaso v. Watkins, (1961), we did indeed refer to ‘secular humanism’ as a ‘religion.'”
Intolerant discrimination against those who believe in God or the Bible is not what the founders intended when they wrote the Constitution.
George Washington wrote to the United Baptist Churches of Virginia, May 10, 1789:
"If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed by the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical Society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it."
Ronald Reagan commented on the National Day of Prayer, May 6, 1982:
"Well-meaning Americans in the name of freedom have taken freedom away. For the sake of religious tolerance, they've forbidden religious practice."
In the Supreme Court case of Town of Greece, NY, v. Galloway et al, Justice Kennedy wrote in the decision, May 5, 2014:
"Respondents maintain that prayer must be nonsectarian ... and they fault the town for permitting guest chaplains to deliver prayers that 'use overtly Christian terms' or 'invoke specifics of Christian theology' ...
An insistence on nonsectarian or ecumenical prayer as a single, fixed standard is not consistent with the tradition of legislative prayer ...
The Congress that drafted the First Amendment would have been accustomed to invocations containing explicitly religious themes of the sort respondents find objectionable.
One of the Senate's first chaplains, the Rev. William White, gave prayers in a series that included the Lord's Prayer, the Collect for Ash Wednesday, prayers for peace and grace, a general thanksgiving, St. Chrysostom's Prayer, and a prayer seeking 'the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c ...'"
Justice Kennedy continued in Greece v. Galloway, May 5, 2014:
"The decidedly Christian nature of these prayers must not be dismissed as the relic of a time when our Nation was less pluralistic than it is today.
Congress continues to permit its appointed and visiting chaplains to express themselves in a religious idiom ...
To hold that invocations must be nonsectarian would force the legislatures ... and the courts ... to act as ... censors of religious speech ...
Government may not mandate a civic religion that stifles any but the most generic reference to the sacred any more than it may prescribe a religious orthodoxy ..."
"Respondents argue, in effect, that legislative prayer may be addressed only to a generic God.
The law and the Court could not draw this line for each specific prayer or seek to require ministers to set aside their nuanced and deeply personal beliefs for vague and artificial ones.
There is doubt, in any event, that consensus might be reached as to what qualifies as generic or nonsectarian ..."
"While these prayers vary in their degree of religiosity, they often seek peace for the Nation, wisdom for its lawmakers, and justice for its people, values that count as universal and that are embodied not only in religious traditions, but in our founding documents and laws ...
The first prayer delivered to the Continental Congress by the Rev. Jacob Duché on Sept. 7, 1774, provides an example:
'Be Thou present O God of Wisdom and direct the counsel of this Honorable Assembly; enable them to settle all things on the best and surest foundations; that the scene of blood may be speedily closed;
that Order, Harmony, and Peace be effectually restored, and the Truth and Justice, Religion and Piety, prevail and flourish among the people.
Preserve the health of their bodies, and the vigor of their minds, shower down on them, and the millions they here represent, such temporal Blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting Glory in the world to come.
All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Saviour, Amen ...'"
Justice Kennedy concluded his Greece v. Galloway decision, May 5, 2014:
"From the earliest days of the Nation, these invocations have been addressed to assemblies comprising many different creeds ...
Our tradition assumes that adult citizens, firm in their own beliefs, can tolerate and perhaps appreciate a ceremonial prayer delivered by a person of a different faith."
On February 7, 1984, President Reagan addressed the National Association of Secondary School Principals:
"As we struggle to teach our children ... we dare not forget that our civilization was built by men and women who placed their faith in a loving God.
If Congress can begin each day with a moment of prayer ... so then can our sons and daughters."